POCKET MONEY ROCK­ETS: HOT HATCHES FOR UN­DER £5K

Don’t need to buy new? Here are a few crack­ing used hot hatches avail­able for a frac­tion of the price of our two new con­tenders

Autocar - - COMPARISON -

RENAULT CLIO RS 182 TRO­PHY

The ul­ti­mate it­er­a­tion of the Renault Sport Clio. It feels a lit­tle dated in­side, but offers a tac­til­ity and sweet­ness that few more mod­ern hot hatches can match. Buy now, and watch it ap­pre­ci­ate.

SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT

The ar­che­typal less-is-more hot hatch, the pre­vi­ous-gen Swift Sport now costs but­tons to buy and run, yet will pro­vide smiles by the buck­et­load in all en­vi­ron­ments. Equip­ment lev­els are high, too, and they don’t tend to go wrong.

MINI COOPER S

The sec­ond-gen Cooper S is avail­able sur­pris­ingly cheaply with a few years un­der its belt. It’s one of the best hot hatches of its age, with a stiff, de­light­fully throt­tle-ad­justable chas­sis and a punchy en­gine.

ABARTH 500

The first hot 500 is rough and ready to drive, but im­mensely char­ac­ter­ful – and quick, too. The smart in­te­rior con­trasts with the dour grey plas­tics you to find in most mod­ern cars. Few hot hatches have such an overt sense of fun.

VAUXHALL CORSA VXR

The Corsa VXR still has a whiff of boy racer spe­cial about it, and it isn’t the most pol­ished hot hatch you’ll find for this sort of cash. It is, how­ever, fast and lairy, both to look at and to drive – and it’s also get­ting very cheap to buy.

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